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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Watching US Major League Baseball For The First Time!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda



When my prince got us tickets to watch a US Major League Baseball game as part of our 4th anniversary as sweethearts, I must admit my heart thumps! Yes, it was my first time to watch a baseball game, but honestly it wasn't the main reason for the excitement.  



The hush was at the thought of standing tall like Drew Barrymore in the movie  Fever Pitch  and having the Yankee Stadium  in New York City (USA) as backdrop and the thousands audience of New York Yankees versus Seattle Mariners as witness for that movie - like proposal. But as you could guess I didn't win a seat in history haha! 




Well that is really no reason to sulk. Even without the popping the question part, watching  baseball with my prince last July 26, 2011 is one of the reasons why I had a blast while in the US last summer.



Baseball is a bat - and - ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond.  



The baseball craze hit the New York metropolitan area in the mid-1850s. Since then, baseball became the "national pastime" or "national game" of Americans like basketball to Pinoys. Ergo, having an American boyfriend means sometimes I had to take a back seat when my prince fave team plays. Well, not when I was with him watching the game! 




Seattle Mariners  is  my prince favorite baseball team. That day we were hoping to see the Mariners try to snap their 16-game losing streak. Well, I didn't have a first timer's luck. Again? haha.  





Saturday, March 24, 2012

US Roadtrip 2012: Gettysburg, PA

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
1"Four score and seven years ago
 our fathers brought forth on this continent,
a new nation, conceived in Liberty,
and dedicated to the proposition
that all men are created equal...
Gettysburg is just a borough in Pennsylvania, USA and yet it is a household word for many around the world even in the Philippines.  Thanks to the most famous speech by US President Abraham Lincoln delivered during the  American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863 which we know as the Gettysburg Address
Now we are engaged in a great civil war,
testing whether that nation,
or any nation so conceived
and so dedicated, can long endure...
So when my prince announced we were going on a road trip to this historic place,  it has sparked back my interest  in history (I was a history professor before becoming a lawyer) and prepared my TAKE 4 to maximize our four(4) hours stay in Gettysburg last January 16, 2012. 
We are met on a great battle-field of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field,
as a final resting place for those who here
 gave their lives that that nation might live.
It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this
...
   
Tour the Gettysburg National Military Park by heading first to the  National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center located at 1195 Baltimore Pike. 


Within its 22,000 square feet space is an inter-active exhibits, and multi-media presentations that describe the Battle of Gettysburg and its terrible aftermath. The museum is open daily and has lots of information on how to visit the park and what to see around Gettysburg so don't forget to pick up a free auto tour map
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- 

we can not consecrate -- 

we can not hallow -- this ground. 

The brave men, living and dead, 

who struggled here, have consecrated it, 
far above our poor power to add or detract...
Acclaim the speech of President Abraham Lincoln which was delivered in ten minutes and significantly recounted the foundation of democracy as "the government of the people, by the people, for the people" .  


5 The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- 
Kick-start the Self-guided Auto Tour at the Soldiers' National Cemetery to remember those who gave all in Gettysburg. Then drive our own car, stopping at our convenience at designated areas along the battlefield.  


that we here highly resolve that these dead 
shall not have died in vain --
that this nation, under God, 

shall have a new birth of freedom --

and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."   





Enjoy the orchards and the charming small towns that speak so much about history, devotion and sacrifice!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tastee Sub Shop: What's the Fuss?

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

While staycationing in Piscataway, New Jersey, USA for a whole month (December 23, 2011 - January 22, 2012), we often passed by this tiny eatery located in 267 Plainfield Avenue Edison, New Jersey (USA) called  Tastee Sub Shop. 
Almost always, I found lots of cars parked outside this nondescript yet renowned sandwich shop which does take - out from 9am to 11pm, although it also has few tables for dine - in customers. Like me, I'm sure you are wondering why this little place is making a big fuss among patrons? 
Well,  Tastee Sub Shop has been in business since 1963 so that's a track record to boast. But the real crowd drawer according to my prince are its freshest, best tasting, monster cold subs  where the most expensive is $9.08 for a whole of beef or turkey. Too bad, I am not a huge sandwich person so that didn't get my attention much! So, why I am even writing about it? Am I just messing around? Definitely not.
Well, if you have clicked on the first link you'll know why. But to cut the chase, I'll spill the beans for you! Tastee Sub Shop  is actually the same sub shop where US President Barack Obama made a pit stop to grab lunch and staged a photo-opp with small business owners last July 28, 2010!
That's right, the US commander - in - chief was at the Tastee Sub Shop for about 20 minutes, ordered half a sandwich and chatted with locals about ways Congress can aid small businesses and tax breaks. 
But that was two years ago! Do you think it is the "Obama effect that is causing the rave  now? or is it Tastee Sub Shop's exceptional  record of customer service and  its tastee sandwiches?  What say ye?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Traveling Fashion In Summer and Winter!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda


Season dictates our fashion while traveling - with summer and winter being on the opposite end of the pendulum. To me though, whether in summer or winter, my goal in fashion is to have a more fun feminine look with a  few pieces in my luggage (esp. if I want to travel in style while flash packing or backpacking) - chic head geareyeglasses, a layered tops ensemblesoft  bottoms, a small bag for knick knacks, and matching shoes that slip on and off easily . 
Summer Outfit in Aspen, Colorado (USA)
So for summerhats and caps are practical and stylish accessories to protect me from sun rays and takes little effort to polish my look; colorful soft tee-shirts over a plain white undershirt; a jacket same color with beltless pants; white gray easy strap Skechers; and eyeglasses that doubles as sun glasses. 
Winter Outfit in Alton, Utah (USA)
For winterknitted hooded mufflers work double duty by blocking chilly winds and as fashion pieces that is light yet provide the comfort and warmth on a cold day; jeggings/leggings; winter sneakers; white and colorful long sleeves for layering and black multi-tone eyeglasses.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Travel Dapitan 2012: Siblings Bonding and Debate Over Billiards...?

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
Pool or Pocket Billiard, Sport or Not?

Pool or Pocket Billiard is a kind of billiard which is played on tables with 6 pockets, a cue stick, cue ball and 15 object balls. The goal is simple - player take turns getting the 15 object balls (starting from 1 to 15) into the pocket, by hitting the cue ball (white ball) with the cue stick. 
Part of the exhibit inside the British Museum in London (England) 

There's so much debate about pocket billiards being considered a SPORT, not so much because of physical exertion but mainly due to the mental concentration it takes to play. The debate is heightened now that the 2012 Olympics in London, England is all set for its opening ceremonies on July 27, 2012. Will the Pool make waves in the 30th Olympiad? What's your bet?

Part of  British Museum Exhibit during my visit Feb.2, 2012
Glad there is no heated debate like that when my two brothers and I decided to play Pocket Billiard at Gloria Fantasyland in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte last March 6, 2012. In fact, the decision was prompted by necessity!


After visiting all the six ( 6) sites featured in the Lakbay Jose Rizal @150 Heritage Trail, we were back at the Jose Rizal Memorial University campus at 6pm. The guest house inside the campus was our accommodation for the night (since none of the inns/resorts we texted replied to our inquiry on available rooms!). It safe (being fully guarded and many students stay in the campus) and cheap too at Php 200 per person! With that price comes an airconditioned room, three small beds, no hot and cold shower, no towel and no TV! Without saying a word, my brothers and I agreed it was boring to be home that early haha! 
We decided to head to Gloria De Dapitan, a world - class commercial center along Dapitan's Boulevard, which is open until 12midnight. With only a couple of hours to spend (since it was already 8pm and our curfew was 10pm!), we planned on a 30-minute of pocket billiards (Php 35), 1-hour of bowling (Php 100) and 30- minute dinner.    
We ended up playing three (3) rounds of pocket billiards for an hour (Php 70), didn't have time for any bowling and had a good meal debating over who is going to pay the meal - the winner or the loser! haha.(Note: First round: Mike-Joel-Mhe-anne; Second round: Joel-Mhe-anne-Mike and Third round: Mike-Mhe-anne-Joel!). I actually paid the meal, but not sure if I did so as a winner or loser haha. (What do you think?)   
Yes, I have picked up a cue stick before with friends and had fun with it. But playing pocket billiards with my brothers was even more fun since it is less competitive (and we know how to tease!). So whether pocket billiards is a sport or not, it doesn't really matter. All we know is that, playing pocket billiards was the best and the cheapest bonding moment I had with my siblings while in Dapitan! And that's non-debatable! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail: El Canto del Viajero (Song of the Traveler)!

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda




I am fascinated with songs carved in stones like famous singer/composer John Denver's Sanctuary in Aspen, Colorado (USA) where the lyrics of his hit songs are etched on huge granite boulders from the Rocky Mountains. I was thrilled to find a similar concept while doing the Lakbay Jose Rizal @ 150 Heritage Trail last March 6, 2012 with my brothers.  I must admit that I  didn't have the vaguest idea that our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal has written a poem titled El Canto Del Viajero (or Song of the Traveler) whose lyrics are etched on the ground  inside the Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte




El Canto Del Viajero or The Song of The Traveler (in English) and Awit ng Manlalakbay (in Tagalog) is the heart-warming poem written by Dr. Jose Rizal at the joyous thought of being able to travel again, after being in exile for four (4) years and thirteen (13) days in Dapitan! 




Deducing from Dr. Rizal's Diary of his stay in Dapitan and travel to Cuba, the original Spanish version of Awit ng Manlalakbay may have been written sometime between Dr. Rizal's receipt of the Gov. General Ramon Blanco's letter on 30 July 1896, and Dr. Rizal's actual departure from Dapitan at midnight the following day, 31 July 1896. The joyous news of being accepted as a physician in Cuba took almost seven months wait (from 18 December 1895)  so Dr. Rizal described it as having a "sweet - sour" effect:  It was like a desired dish which was offered after the dessert".


Feel the emotions, the deep sentiments of our national hero through the El Canto del Viajero's lyrics  captured in my photographs,its English version of "Song of the Traveler" as captions and the Tagalog version "Awit ng Manlalakbay" provided as well.

Like to a leaf that is fallen and withered, 
Tossed by the tempest from the pole unto pole; 
Thus roams without love, without country or soul. 
Roams without love, without country or soul. 
 
 



Kagaya ng dahong nalanta, nalagas,
Sinisiklut-siklot ng hanging marahas;
Abang manlalakbay ay wala nang liyag,
Layuin, kalulwa't bayang matatawag. 
Following anxiously treacherous fortune; 
Fortune which e’en as he grasps at it seeking, 
Vain though the hopes that his yearning is seeking 
Yet does the pilgrim embark on the seas?  
 



Hinahabul-habol yaong kapalarang
Mailap at hindi masunggab-sunggaban;
Magandang pag-asa'y kung nanlalabo man,
Siya'y patuloy ring patungo kung saan! 
Ever impelled by the way the invisible power, 
Destined to roam from the East to the West; 
Oft he remembers the faces to loved ones. 
Dreams of the day when he, too, was at rest.
  
 



Sa udyok ng hindi nakikitang lakas,
Silanga't Kanlura'y kanyang nililipad,
Mga minamahal ay napapangarap,
Gayon din ang araw ng pamamanatag. 



Chance may assign him tomb on the desert, 
Grant him a final asylum of peace; 
Soon by the world and his country forgotten, 

God rest his soul when his wandering ceases!  


Sa pusod ng isang disyertong mapanglaw,
Siya'y maaaring doon na mamatay,
Limot ng daigdig at sariling bayan,

Kamtan nawa niya ang kapayapaan!  
Often the sorrowing pilgrim is envied, 
Circling the globe like a sea-gull above; 
Little, ah, little they know 
what a void 

Saddens his soul by the absence of love.  


Dami ng sa kanya ay nangaiinggit,
Ibong naglalakaby sa buong daigdig,
Hindi nila tanto ang laki ng hapis
Na sa kanyang puso ay lumiligalig. 
Home may the pilgrim return in the future, 
Back to his loved ones his footsteps he bends; 
Naughts will he find out snow and the ruins? 

Ashes of love and the tomb of his friends.  


Kung sa mga tanging minahal sa buhay
Siya'y magbalik pa pagdating ng araw,
Makikita niya'y mga guho lamang
At puntod ng kanyang mga kaibigan. 

Pilgrim, before! Nor return more hereafter, 
Stranger thou art in the land of thy birth; 
Others may sing of their love while rejoicing, 

Thou once again must roam o’er the earth. 


Abang manlalakbay! Huwag nang magbalik,
Sa sariling baya'y wala kang katalik;
Bayaang ang puso ng iba'y umawit,
Lumaboy kang muli sa buong daigdig. 

Pilgrim, be gone! Nor return more hereafter, 
Dry are the tears that a while for thee ran; 
Pilgrim, before! And forget thine affliction, 

Loud laughs the world at the sorrows of man. 


Abang manlalakbay! Bakit babalik pa?
Ang luhang inyukol sa iyo'y tuyo na;
Abang manlalakbay! Limutin ang dusa,
Sa hapis ng tao, mundo'y nagtatawa. 

As a traveler, which stanza you can "own" as yours or can relate the most? Please share in comments.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Satan's Tactics and Christ's Solution

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
Shadows of me and my friend/CS host Cath Iblan in London.
Check the next picture and you'll know why this is an illusion!
Scripture Block: 2 Nephi 26-30
Ward: Deparo, Novaliches Philippines Stake


Today's lesson in Sunday School contains some of Satan's illusions (something that deceives or misleads) intended to "detour, dilute, and divert" Latter - Day Saints' attention from the pure truth of God.  We can avoid being deceived by Satan's falsehoods, and remaining faithful to the truth. 


Cath is 5'9, I'm 4'10. Can't Be Same Height As in the Shadows.
My OWN list of Satan's tactics (2 Nephi 26-28)


1. he uses flaxen cord (i.e. cord made of thin, light strands).


2. through priestcraft


3. spread false, vain and foolish doctrines


4. false teaching to justify sin


5. not to worry about "committing little sin"


6. stir many to anger


7. causing people to Pride


8. pacify people and "lull" into carnal security (i.e. find security in following the appetites of the flesh or trusting in worldly objects or ideas)


9. lead people carefully


10. flattereth away


11. being at ease in zion




Solution: 2 Nephi 29-30


Studying the Book of Mormon will help us be alert and avoid becoming "at ease in Zion". President Ezra Taft Benson said: "The Book of Mormon exposes the enemies of Christ. It confounds false doctrines and lays down contention. (2 Nep. 3:12). It fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil in our day. The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false eductaional, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time". 











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Opera House - Sydney